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Wednesday, June 15

Facebook's new(?) facial recognition software

From The Guardian - What Facebook Fails to Recognise

Remember the uproar when Facebook made your list of friends, pages you are a fan of, gender, geographic region and networks publicly available to everyone? Now, the social networking behemoth has silently enabled facial recognition software without your permission under the rather benign tag "Suggest photos of me to friends." Even if you choose to disable the option, Facebook still will have the technical ability to connect your name with your image.

Mark Zuckerberg might say his company is just evolving on privacy – witness his comments in this video interview that:

"We view it as our role in the system to constantly be innovating and be updating what our system is to reflect what the current social norms are."

Contrast this with his former claims that privacy is "the vector around which Facebook operates".

....But already, the deck is stacked against privacy. As media activist Cory Doctorow noted in a TED lecture, Facebook employs "very powerful game-like mechanisms to reward to disclosure – it embodies BF's Skinner's famous thought experiment, the notion of the Skinner box … lavish[ing] you with attention from the people that you love … in service to a business model that cashes in the precious material of our social lives." Is this new feature really designed to make the site more useful to users or to boost its commercial value as it nears an initial public stock offering?

Any readers out there that might have anything positive to say about this? I just signed up for a facebook page (for a town committe I recently joined), so I really don't know much about how "The Facebook" works. I'm the only one in the group that doesn't have my pic next to my name. It IS called FACEbook so what's the big deal??
Don't EVEN get me started.

If I ever do upload a pic of me on FB, I think I'll try this suggestion from Sarah Jacobsson Purewal at PCWorld:

Yeah. So not only should you opt out of Facebook's facial recognition technology by going to Account > Account Settings > Privacy > Customize Settings > Things Others Share and disabling "Suggest photos of me to friends," you should also upload random pictures of trees and animals and stuffed toys and tag them as yourself.

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